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Title: Exploring cooperation and competition in the Centipede game through verbal protocol analysis
Authors: Krockow, Eva M.
Colman, Andrew M.
Pulford, Briony D.
First Published: 2016
Publisher: Wiley
Citation: European Journal of Social Psychology, 2016, in press
Abstract: The Centipede game is an abstract model of reciprocal relationships where two individuals alternate in helping each other at relatively small personal cost. Whereas mutual cooperation can benefit both individuals in the long run, a paradoxical but logically compelling backward induction argument shows that cooperation is irrational. Empirical studies have reported reliable deviations from the non-cooperative backward induction solution, but their exclusively quantitative methods allow only a limited range of predefined motives to be explored. Our study uses verbal (‘think aloud’) protocols and qualitative data analysis to identify motives for cooperation in the Centipede game. The results provide little evidence for sophisticated backward induction reasoning. Instead, a wide range of motives emerged, their relative saliences varying according to the stage of the game. Activity bias affected decisions mainly at the beginning of the game, whereas cooperative and altruistic social value orientations most frequently accounted for cooperation towards its natural end.
ISSN: 0046-2772
eISSN: 1099-0992
Links: TBA
Embargo on file until: 1-Jan-10000
Version: Post-print
Status: Peer-reviewed
Type: Journal Article
Rights: Copyright © 2016 Wiley. Deposited with reference to the publisher’s archiving policy available on the SHERPA/RoMEO website.
Description: The file associated with this record is under a 12-month embargo from publication in accordance with the publisher's self-archiving policy. The full text may be available through the publisher links provided above.
Appears in Collections:Published Articles, Dept. of Neuroscience, Psychology and Behaviour

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